tv BBC World News WHUT December 24, 2010 7:00am-7:30am EST
>> "bbc world news" is presented by kcet, los angeles. funding for this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. and union bank. >> union bank has put its financial strength to work for a wide range of companies, from small businesses to major
corporations. what can we do for you? >> and now "bbc world news." >> one of the most dangerous places in the world to celebrate christmas -- iraqi christmas -- christians cancel services and adopt a lower profile. an attack last october left 44 dead and militants threatened again. more christians are leaving. >> if i say you should stay, then i asking you guarantee my safety, my family, that of my children? what can i say if i can't even guarantee my own safety? >> welcome to "gmt." i jonathan charles with a world of news and opinion. also, the pope offers a thought for the day for britain using a
bbc broadcast to deliver a christmas message. thousands of christians are in bethlehem. not in the best of conditions. midday in london, 2:00 a.m. christmas island in the pacific ocean and 3:00 p.m. in baghdad, one of the most dangerous places to be a christian this christmas. many church services were canceled, safety fears and worshipers told to keep celebrations to a minimum after a group affiliated with al qaeda threatens fresh attacks. in october more than 30 christians killed in baghdad. the dwindling community is facing a fresh exodus. let us go live to baghdad and join our correspondent. gabriel. >> we are hearing that most churches across iraq have canceled plans for midnight mass on christmas day. some normal church services will go ahead as usual.
leaders, as you say, have been urging people not to have a conspicuous christmas decorations outside their churches or, indeed, their houses. all of this comes after a warning tuesday by a group affiliated with al qaeda. that same group that claimed it was behind the attack and then massacre at the syrian catholic church in baghdad on the last october. we went back last sunday, the last service before christmas back to that cathedral to gauge the mood among worshipers. ♪ the conservation at a bad that process. a catholic cathedral is a -- the congregation of the baghdad cathedral is a shadow of what was. one of 30 people were killed last the october. since then, more have left the country. the this person was injured that evening. she saw her husband and son and daughter-in-law and three-month- old grandson killed.
she says she was a she had died as well and now she does not know what she should do. >> i am confused. part oys a stay in iraq but the other part says, no, you have to leave. i don't know. i can't make up my mind. >> after the attack at the end of october directed -- erected blast walls and increased security. of course, too late for the more than 40 worshipers who died that day and for many, many other christians, it is going to take a lot more than concrete barriers to convince them that they are still saved in iraq. following a spate of recent attacks, thousands of christian families have led to the relative safety to the north. those who remained behind have been warned by christian leaders to keep their celebrations low- key.
some church services have been cancelled. she decided that the last minute not to attend the fate of service if you months ago. she says she will continue to go to church and she is not afraid. she is overcome by sadness and her christmas decorations here are firmly hidden behind closed doors. across iraq and christians face a terrible i love it -- to stay and face the possibility of more attacks or to leave the country of their birth. officially the church says they should stay to keep this engine community alive. the situation is nearly impossible. >> if i say you should stay, then they asked can you guarantee my safety, my family's safety, that of my children? and what can i say when i can't even guarantee my own safety? >> there have been christians in iraq almost as the birth of the
religion itself. the fate has been inextricably bound to the whole country. they still face daily violence whenever their creed. of course, when you get a tax like that one of the cathedral in a baghdad, it is felt this portion of about the christian community because of the relatively small size. it is worth remembering that all the people in iraq did continue to face that violence. for example, of brief frequency large-scale attacks on shiite programs on festival days. a question the whole of iraq faces and when the new government is going to have to make the top priority. >> i was going to ask. it is that the reason why authorities can't or will do more to protect the christian community? >> i think some in the christian community feel some of the extra measures definitely came to late for that attack in october. i think the problem is that the
iraqi authorities and security forces, while we do keep hearing they have improved measurably, and so on, -- capable of preventing the attacks whether christians and other communities. there is daily violence in iraq. a bomb blasts, shootings. these things happen on the daily basis and rarely make the hoop -- news headlines. but if you look at the numbers across iraq, the people who get killed in these kind of incidents monthly is in the low to mid hundred. while in iraq it is called progress, in any other country it would most certainly constitute a state of national emergency. >> gabriel live in baghdad. thank you very much. let's take a look at some of the other stories making headlines around the world. the pope has broadcast and historic christmas radio message to the british people. meditating on the christmas story. it was transmitted in the thoughts of the day slot on one
of the bbc that a domestic stations. the first-time pope benedict presented material specifically written for a radio audience and it was recorded earlier in this week in rome. or vatican correspondent has the story. >> this was pope benedict's very personal way of saying thank you for the warm reception he received in the u.k. last september. >> for the visit of the united kingdom last september, giving an opportunity to greet you once again. >> i accompanied the pope -- normally course -- foreign correspondents said at the back of the plane. the bbc radio program thought of the day -- >> let us give thanks to god for his goodness to us and proclaimed the good news that
god offers us freedom from what ever ways us down, it gives us hope, it brings us life. >> he feels comfortable reading his prepared script. but his evident warmth came across strongly. >> scotland, england, wales, and to every part of the english- speaking world, i want you to know that i keep all of you very much in my prayers during this holiday season. >> this was an occasion to ask the pope of what questions about dissident anglicans coming to a room next year. nor about the pain caused by that sexual misbehavior of some catholic priests. it it was simply a graceful way for the pope to say thank you. a bbc news, at the vatican. >> a u.s. diplomatic cable released by wikileaks confirmed it was the israelis and destroyed a suspected nuclear reactor in syria more than three years ago. israel itself has never been -- never denied the attack but it was widely believed at the time
the israelis did it. clash as close to the afghan border -- a hundred and 50 militants attacked five security posts. at least 11 pakistani soldiers were killed and more than 20 taliban fighters. the international security assistance force in afghanistan says a man accused of smuggling weapons from iran to the taliban and got the heart is not a member of iran's's a lead al- qud force. intelligence reports suggested he was part of the group, a special unit of the revolutionary guard. half of the flights out of paris's main airports have been canceled because of continued freezing conditions. airport strap are struggling to the eyes of their craft and having problems obtaining enough of the chemical needed for the job. some passengers could be stranded until christmas day. a major european drug smuggling ring was broken up by austria -- a hundred people arrested and more than $700 million of
heroin. the gang had been selling from netherlands to bulgaria. >> the building blocks of a huge in europe-white heroin smuggling operation. austria's federal police proudly show off the result of what to them is a major success. >> it is our biggest coup in austria and neighboring countries. the group is very dangerous and deeply structured and well- positioned. in europe we seek for bunch of people at more than 1 tons and 70 kilograms of heroin. >> dozens of coordinated raids in vienna, 69 people in custody. across macedonia at least 29 more were arrested. they were part of a huge operation that control the harlan trade in the german city of frankfurt as well as the and. prosecutors say -- constantly
replaced 300 or so people have been arrested in germany over the last few months. >> they recruit young people from various towns and villages in the macedonia who have no criminal background and were not previously involved in any criminal activities. it >> as well as raw harwood that originated in afghanistan, police seized tens of thousands of euros in cash, up to 80,000 euros transferred every day. in austria, several of the groups have already been convicted and the authorities are warning more arrests are likely. jonathan joseph's, bbc news. >> the american ratification of the new nuclear arms reduction treaty with russia is paying dividends already, warming relations. russian president dmitri medvedev is praising his u.s. counterpart barack obama as a leader both of those promises. in a telephone interview he says and the local circumstances president obama pushed through
the star deal that will cut the number of deployed warheads by 30% on the side. a question that a foreign minister expressed concerns, though, about some of the documents attached to the treaty by the senate. let us be to the russian speculate -- specialist from a think tank. it would be make of the comments from the russian president? >> the russian president is certainly trying to keep a good face in the face of the fact that the russian duma itself delayed ratification of the treaty today. it said the senate passed a resolution that follows the treaty itself needed further scrutiny. but they want to read it, pay more attention to what, and they would take it until a new year to pass the document. president medvedev, while praising obama was actually fighting his own difficulties. >> perhaps we should tie them to the foreign minister who said
he made it clear he did not like some of things the senator said when passing the american red of occasions, in particular linking arms reduction with missile defense. >> he has made those comments and so has been chairman of the russian duma -- saying it needed further study. it is important to understand that both lavrov and duma represented appraised in the past and said it was the only mechanism of exchange of informational present between russia and the united states. we would hope the reciprocation will take place in russia. it is unfortunate that it will take longer than expected. >> in a way, doesn't rush to get as much out of this as america does? >> they certainly do. it is important for them to cut the spending on the nuclear arsenals. of course, they also need in the added sense of security.
however, they are very keen to show that they are equal to americans in that sense and if they did add some own viewpoints for this they want to make sure they are not losing out. it is very important from their reputation of point of view. >> just briefly, we can expect the russians will attach something when it comes before the du muchma as the u.s. senate does. >> much of the same but they will have comments. they are still interested to pass it on but likely to take more time just to show. >> thank you very much indeed for joining us. still to come, we will rely in bethlehem where thousands are expected. the church of the city needs urgent repairs. -- church of the nativity needs urgent repairs. police in venezuela and used water cannons and rubber bullets to break of a student protest in caracas. they were opposed to a new law that increase of government control over universities.
the students claim that law will be used to promote the government socialist ideology of the universities but president hugo job as says they are designed to make a more democratic -- hugo chavez. >> thousands came, amytal hyatt, with slogans delivering their message loud and clear. of the new university lot is unacceptable, they wanted changed and they will not give up without a fight. but the national guard were ready and waiting. the garment laid down. but students marched on the determined to make it to the central university of venezuela but the authorities were just as determined to stand background. troops opened fire, blasting the crowd with robert bullets and used water cannons to disperse. if they claim that the new university law is a thinly disguised government clampdown that will restrict them of the freedom of speech and forced them to comply with the socialist ideology of president hugo chavez.
under the new law universities will no longer be able to maintain the degree of independence and have enjoyed so far, students and professors alike citing that is the government's way of stamping out opposition. not so, says hugo chavez. he insists it will make universities more inclusive and democratic. what about the students most is government ministers will have the power to determine which except -- acted in the programs will be enforced. the new program has already been passed by the national assembly but the students and are ready to give up. more demonstrations are planned in the coming days. >> we want to hear what you think. get in touch with us. the best way is to go to our website, bbc.com/gmt and you can find links to our facebook and twitter pages. this is "gmt" from bbc world is.
our main story so far -- christians in iraq are urged to celebrate christmas quietly after a group linked to al qaeda threaten the more taxpayer of a reduction in the number of nuclear warheads held by russia and the usa will be a little closer today, problem and moscow starting to discuss the start treaty. in a moment we will be live in bethlehem but first the business news. >> not matters spiritual. more travel chaos for those flying in and out of paris. flights have been slashed in half because of a shortage of antifreeze and forecasting more cold weather. the destruction is frustrating travelers. the assistant editor at reuters ready ms. ne says the airlines have shown a lack of foresight. >> the basic the thing is they have not left any margin for error and there has been an error itself. >> isn't there a cost-benefit
equation? say, for instance, 10 years ago one of the airports invested heavily in antifreeze supplies and all of the snow plow equipment, could have spent a lot of money and then for eight years that stuff would have been sitting around doing nothing and it would have to explain that to shareholders. >> i see that point, but i challenge to the actual financial cost of buying antifreeze and a few snow plows and after all, surely, it is not beyond a man or woman to work out a snow plow can be used for clearing snow in the winter, cut the grass in the summer, take bags around the airport in between time. so i do not think it would be that much of a financial cost. certainly not as set against the loss that has been seen in recent days. but i think actually the investment required here is more and imagination, ingenuity, and the leadership, leadership in a sense that actually its devolve power to people to do stuff on
the ground, little things. that is where the real losses have occurred -- incurred. >> you think there will be long- term damage to businesses because next year people will not want to travel christmastime? >> i am not sure of only the airline industry will decline but the growth will not be nearly as strong as it might be. we talked a lot about the demands of management -- management and whether extra cost should be put on certain passengers. i think in a very chaotic way, what airports and airlines are doing is managing the man commanding -- managing it through the chaos that has been created and that will put people off. >> most of the markets are pretty moribund, apart -- crude oil has risen to two-year high, brent crude, $94.57 overnight, the highest level since 2008. colder weather in northern
europe put strains in supply, china raised gasoline and diesel prices to record levels and india considering a similar rise next week. cuyahoga paid $10 million to the family of four people killed in a runaway lexus car in the u.s. last year -- toyota paid $10 million to the family of four people killed in a runaway lexus car in the u.s.. this crash triggered a series of recalls. let's have a look at the markets. it's just coming up to the close, half day. you can see it pretty down at the moment. quite a few worries at the moment about the oil price and the inflation expertise and that might follow. i think people thinking about next year could be a year of rising interest rates with all of the effects of that it has all markets. and individuals as well. >> thank you very much, indeed. thousands of christian pilgrims and tourists are preparing to celebrate christmas by visiting
the site where jesus is said to have been born but there is a warning from authorities in bethlehem that unless urgent repairs are carried out to the centuries-old churches of the nativity they may have to restrict numbers in the future. let's go live to bethlehem and join the middle east correspondent. and a glorious day here in bethlehem -- warm afternoon sun. thousands of pilgrims and tourists. of the marching bands, clergy parading through the streets, all waiting to see christmas day at midnight. but of course, the main attraction in bethlehem itself and manger square is of the church of the nativity, it has been on this spot since about the fourth century. boat visitor numbers is just one of the reasons why people are concerned about its condition. chris malware it all started, in bethlehem -- christmas where it
all started. thousands of tourists and christmas pilgrims have come to the palestinian west bank town to a place where they believe jesus was born more than 2000 years ago. the focal point for all programs is the nativity church. first built in the fourth century, this iconic structure has been damaged by war and rebuilt many times. it is controlled and jealously -- jealously protected in an uneasy agreement between greek orthodox, franciscans, and armenians. the tensions between the various denominational can take on proportions. for example, if a monk uses or cleans the whole staircase the whole place could be closed for several hours. but there is a serious side. as the monks and the bishops argue among themselves, there is a real danger that parts of one of the most famous and important churches in history may fall down around them. the 500-year-old lead roles,
cause concern. politics stand in the way of critical repairs. >> the roof is leaking. the rules, -- the route was repaired once an 18th-century and needs to be restored again because if you leave the church as it is, it will become unvisitable and the future. >> with the church leaders not able to agree who should carry out and pay for the repairs, the palestinian authority has had to step in and take charge of the process. work is due to begin in the new year. historical disputes between priests notwithstanding, the local municipality would love to see even more visitors, spending their dollars and the local economy and staying in the towel and itself. and the lack of a peace deal between the palestinians and israel which effectively
controls access to the holy town the means of that potential may not be realized for some time. >> every year the queen broadcast her christmas message. this year an unusual scene, she has chosen to focus on sport. >> the one speech of the year over which she has complete control. the queen decides what sewage to talk about and the annual christmas broadcast -- the queen decides what she wants to talk about in the annual christmas brock is. the setting, hampton court, the former royal palace where monarchs like elizabeth the first and james the first held court and were a few days ago elizabeth ii recorder her christmas thoughts. what is it the name of this christmas broadcast? perhaps not the most obvious. at the end of the year when britain achieved great success -- talking about sport and its
importance to national life. the queen talks of the way in which is board can be used to build communities and create harmony -- sport. >> in parks and towns and cities and on village greens up and down the country, countless thousands of people every week give up their time to participate in sports and exercise of all sorts. these kinds of activity are common throughout the world and play a part in providing a different perspective on life. >> the broadcast is an illustrated with pictures of william and harry playing football with local children during a visit to southern africa earlier this year. the queen's christmas broadcast will be transmitted at 3:00 tomorrow afternoon. >> that is about it from all of us. stay with us, though, here on the bbc world news.
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